Saving Marine Biodiversity A comprehensive national strategy is crucial for reversing the rapidly accelerating decline in marine life.
The plants and animals which currently live on earth have continued to evolve over the 65 million years since the last mass extinction. But many scientists consider the huge reduction in biodiversity since the emergence of humans is now on the scale of another mass extinction.
This is known as the Holocene or because it is man-made in origin the Anthropocene extinction. Habitat loss Ever more people need ever more space. Human activity continues to encroach on natural environments, thereby destroying the habitats of countless species.
While some progress has been made in slowing the rate of loss of tropical forests and mangroves, serious declines are also being seen worldwide in freshwater wetlands, sea ice habitats, salt marshes, coral reefs, seagrass beds and shellfish reefs.
Over exploitation Ever more people need ever more stuff. We are also putting enormous pressure on populations of wild species, both by hunting in the developing world and by large-scale industrial fishing in our seas. Urbanisation Ever more people need ever more homes.
In most industrialised countries and a growing number of developing ones over half the population live in cities.
Properly designed cities and agricultural systems can sometimes support people with a lower impact on biodiversity than can a more evenly spread population. Intensive agriculture Ever more people need ever more food. In order to feed the numbers of people living on the earth today, humanity has developed agricultural systems which rely on monocultures, artificial fertilisers and pesticides.
Monocultures are increasingly susceptible to disease, pesticide use destroys insect populations indiscriminately, whilst fertiliser runoff pollutes water courses. In addition, the growing pressure on food supplies means an increasing proportion of agricultural land is farmed intensively, with fewer off seasons or fallow years in which to recover.
Pollution Ever more people produce ever more waste and pollution. As well as affecting the lives of humans, noise, light and chemical pollution can disrupt wildlife behaviour. Light from human activities makes it harder for predator species to catch their prey.
Noise pollution interrupts both hunting and mating signals in many species, disturbing natural behaviour.
The build-up of phosphates and nitrates from agricultural fertilisers and sewage effluent is creating long-term algal blooms in freshwater lakes and inland water systems, causing fish stocks to decline, with serious implications for food security in many developing countries.
As populations increase, the disposal of waste becomes an increasing issue. Pollution will always be a consequence, whether we use land fill, incinerators or disposal at sea and in watercourses.
The disposal of toxic materials poses additional hazards and problems.
|Author and Page information||Other examples Climate change impacts on biodiversity in the Arctic The Arctic, Antarctic and high latitudes have had the highest rates of warming, and this trend is projected to continue, as the above-mentioned Global Biodiversity Outlook 3 notes p. In the Arctic, it is not just a reduction in the extent of sea ice, but its thickness and age.|
|5) Causes of recent declines in biodiversity « Rainforest Conservation Fund||Print While the main threat to marine biodiversity is the exploitation and pollution of natural habitats, there is another: The oyster is more than just a delicacy there — it is also a plague.|
Invasive species As a consequence of the introduction of non-native species to some areas, such as rabbits in Australia or goats on St. Helena, we have put many vulnerable ecosystems at risk, threatening native ecologies and diminishing biodiversity.Causes of Earth's Declining Biodiversity Printer-friendly version PDF version The Stockholm Resilience Center in Sweden has measured and quantified nine of the major environmental threats to our planet.
Saving Marine Biodiversity. A comprehensive national strategy is crucial for reversing the rapidly accelerating decline in marine life. For centuries, humanity has seen the sea as an infinite source of food, a boundless sink for pollutants, and a tireless sustainer of coastal habitats.
It isn’t. Biodiversity in decline. Share this story. Whatsapp. Facebook. Twitter (File pix) Belum Forest in Gerik, Perak, is a treasure trove of biodiversity. Pix by DJ Dolasoh the exception being the setting aside of 17 per cent of land area as protected areas and 10 per cent of marine and coastal areas.
Today, 15 per cent of land area is protected. The major causes of biodiversity decline are land use changes, pollution, changes in atmospheric CO 2 concentrations, changes in the nitrogen cycle and acid rain, climate alterations, and the introduction of exotic species, all coincident to human population growth.
For rainforests, the primary factor is . A new report reveals an alarming decline in marine biodiversity over the last few decades. According to the report, populations of marine vertebrates have declined by 49% between and Some marine creatures are growing thinner shells or skeletons, for example.
Some of these creatures play a crucial role in the food chain, and in ecosystem biodiversity. This is on top of the already declining ocean biodiversity that has been happening for a few decades, now.